Timor Leste one step closer to ASEAN membership
Bagus BT Saragih
The Jakarta Post
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had fulfilled his commitment to promote Timor Leste's ASEAN membership during the 22nd summit in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei Darussalam, a minister says.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Friday that the ten member states had agreed to Timor Leste's participation in its next meetings thanks to lobbing by Indonesia.
'We are still waiting for a formal decision,' Marty said at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport after arriving from Bandar Seri Begawan.
Marty was part of a delegation accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his five-day ASEAN tour, which also included state visits to Singapore and Myanmar.
The approval of Timor Leste's bid to have a greater role in ASEAN was also included in the summit Chairman's Statement.
'We were encouraged by the progress in discussions by the ASEAN Coordinating Council [ACC] and the ACC Working Group [ACCWG], on all relevant aspects related to the application by Timor Leste, as well as its possible implication on ASEAN, and agreed to explore the possibility of Timor Leste's participation in ASEAN activities within the context of its need for capacity building,' the statement read. (ebf)
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